MENLO PARK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Refuge Biotechnologies, Inc. (“Refuge”), a synthetic biology company developing intelligent cell therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy, today announced the promotion of Francesco M. Marincola, M.D., to president. He will retain his role as chief scientific officer.
“Since Franco joined Refuge as our chief scientific officer in 2018, he has transformed our immune cell therapy research program into one that can compete with the best in the world. His knowledge, insight and relationships in both academia and industry have paved a clear path for us as we continue to advance our pipeline of intelligent cell therapies to fight cancer,” said Bing C. Wang, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer of Refuge. “In parallel, he has demonstrated a strength in mentorship by training internal scientists to grow into their potential and has set the standard for our company’s culture and expectation of leadership in scientific pursuits. We are proud to recognize his leadership across the organization with the promotion to president.”
“One key motivation behind pioneering the CRISPR interference and activation technology was to find new ways to innovate treatments of cancers in a precise way without making permanent cuts to the DNA. With this approach, the technology can deliver multiplex treatments to T cells all at once – making the process inexpensive and efficient,” said Stanley Qi, Ph.D., scientific founder. “It’s been remarkable to witness the progress that Refuge has made with translating this technology into next-generation cell immunotherapies that could have meaningful impacts. Much of that success is in part to Franco’s profound scientific vision, leadership, and clinical mindset as Refuge matures into a clinical-stage program. This promotion is well-deserved.”
Dr. Marincola joined Refuge as chief scientific officer in May 2018, focused on the development of the intelligent cell therapy platform and lead therapeutic programs. In his career, he served as a distinguished research fellow and strategist for immune oncology discovery at AbbVie, developed and led a genetic research institute at Sidra Medical and Research Center in Qatar, and served as president of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer. Dr. Marincola has spent his career studying tumor immunology and was a pioneer in the development of technologies for studying the dynamics of the tumor microenvironment adaptations during immune therapy in real-time.
About Refuge Biotechnologies
Refuge Biotechnologies is a synthetic biology company developing intelligent cell therapeutics for cancer immunotherapy. Refuge’s proprietary receptor-dCas platform leverages a unique gene engineering approach based on precision CRISPR activation (CRISPRa) and CRISPR interference (CRISPRi). By connecting ligand specific receptors to dCas, Refuge enables cells to sense its surroundings and conditionally activate or repress multiple genes when they encounter specific external antigens. In particular, with receptor-dCas, immune cells can now be engineered to conditionally turn off certain genes, such as PD-1, to generate more potent CAR-T immune cells when it senses the presence of a tumor cell. For further information, please visit www.refugebiotech.com.